What You Can Expect if You Drink and Drive and Get Caught Twice in PA

by Criminal Defence Blawg on August 4, 2012

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If you get caught driving under the influence a second time in the state of Pennsylvania, you can expect much harsher treatment than if it was only your first offense. A 2nd DUI in PA can mean a jail sentence. And, we’re not just talking about a 2nd offense in a few months. They go back 10 years into your record. Generally, the jail sentence handed out will be based on the alcohol concentration found in your breath or blood sample that’s been taken within a two hour time frame of driving.

In the state of Pennsylvania there are three tiers of BAC offenses. The general impairment BAC ranges between .08% and .10%. The high rate of BAC ranges between .10% and .16%. The highest rate of alcohol BAC is anything over .16%. The penalties will differ based on an offender’s BAC at the time of their violation.

You Did It Twice, Now What?

For a 2nd general impairment offense the penalties can include a minimum of 5 days in jail, a fine of anywhere between $300 and $2500, and a license suspension of 12 months. For a 2nd high rate of alcohol offense the penalties can include a minimum of 30 days in jail, a fine of anywhere between $750 and $5,000, and a license suspension of 18 months. For a 2nd highest rate of alcohol offense the penalties can include a minimum of 90 days in jail, a fine of anywhere between $1,500 and $10,000, and a license suspension of 18 months.

The penalties for a second DUI offense in Pennsylvania get progressively worse at the Blood Alcohol Content rises. A DUI suspect cannot hope to avoid any of these penalties by refusing to provide a sample of either their blood or breath for testing either. If makes sense to them as a way to get out of trouble, but it will actually make it worse for them. In Pennsylvania, if you refuse the test you will automatically be given the same penalties given to someone who has been convicted of the highest rate of alcohol offense, even if you only would have tested for the other two lesser tiers.

If you are caught and charged with a 2nd DUI in PA, the best advice is to comply with the law, take the test, and take your lumps. But, ultimately, don’t drink and drive. It’s stupid, careless, and dangerous. Take a cab, take a bus, or call a friend to drive you home. You always have a choice whether or not to get behind the wheel. If you choose to drive yourself, be prepared to face the consequences.

Mitch Tayler is a Social Media Coordinator with legal insight for those facing DUI charges. He can be contacted at dev@themcshanefirm.com.

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal law blogger at CriminalDefenceBlawg
Criminal Defence Blawg is a criminal law blog, sharing legal expertise and intelligence from the UK, US, Australia and beyond. Contributions from those who share great legal information. Want to get published? Contact us today.
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